FLOWER HILL, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Call it a neighborhood dispute over home sizes. A small village on Long Island is seeing more and more small homes torn down to make way for so-called ‘mcmansions.’

Some neighbors have been pushing back, saying the huge homes are taking away from the charm of their community.

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From quaint to massive, as CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, a new generation of buyers is tearing down and rebuilding homes on Long Island’s north shore with higher ceilings, spacious family rooms, and open kitchens.

“We did the same thing,” Suzanna Alcaraz said, “It’s a good sized house.”

Nowhere are the extremes more noticeable than in the tiny village of Flower Hill on the Port Washington peninsula, where some neighbors in older homes have started pushing back as new mega houses get increasingly larger.

“Personally, I just like the style of the older homes. I do think they have a lot of character,” Claire Leiser said.

Contractors are able to shoehorn in huge homes as desirable areas run out of land.

Flower Hill has issued 23 demolition permits in the past year, but none in the previous two.

Homeowners want to be near top schools and the city. With a hot sellers’ market on the north shore, and the tax revenue that comes with it, some villages have drafted code variances to allow more teardown applications.

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Flower Hill Administrator, Ronnie Shatzkamer said the zoning board is sensitive.

“They will very often send these plans back to the drawing board asking them to reduce in size. Doing our best to strike a compromise,” Shatzkamer said.

Manhasset high school kids said it’s a hot topic.

“Changes the character of the community. When they see bigger they think richer,” one student said.

Developers and builders called it a positive economic step forward.

“When you do a house — regular to a mcmansion — you generate taxes, permit fees, income, and sales taxes,” Desmond Ryan, Association for a Better Long Island, said.

Recently, bidding wars have broken out over modest homes with the intention to tear down.


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